The continent of Europe, surrounded by the North Sea, the Baltic, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean has enough beaches to suit everyone’s taste. But the truly beautiful and sandy beaches are the ideal destination.
Where can you find these? Here are some pointers.
You can for instance go to Biarritz in France, along the Basque coast, which was once the spot where French nobility spent its vacations. Because of its proximity to Spain, you also find Spanish influences in the culture, cuisine and design. The climate is mild most of the time.
Also in France there is of course St. Tropez. Very popular among celebrities! Tropical temperatures welcome you from May to September, even October. But be prepared: this destination is expensive, with all those fancy restaurants and exclusive clubs. Don’t be astonished when the waiter presents you the bill for a cup of coffee…
Even more glamorous is Monaco’s Larvotto Beach. The temperature can be compared to that of St. Tropez, but the shops, restaurants and clubs are even more expensive. Of course, you can meet a royal prince or princess there…
A cheaper destination are the Greek isles, rich in Classic Greek sites. Especially Mykonos has smooth, sandy beaches, ideal for sunbathing and all kinds of water sports. Same Mediterranean climate, so bring your sun lotion!
A well kept secret is the beach of Cadiz, in Spain. There you can relax without the big crowds that litter other Spanish beaches. Situated in the south of the country, Cadiz offers a friendly atmosphere and lots of historical attractions and natural beauty.
The widest sandy beaches in Europe, however, can be found in Belgium. Its North Sea Coast is short, but the quality of the sand is unequalled. From east to west, you can find different resorts.
Knokke-Heist, close to Holland, is the Cannes of the North Sea Coast. Exquisite designer stores, beautiful people, Michelin-starred restaurants (from 1 star to 3). On the kilometer wide beach you can surf, sail, sunbathe, go horseback riding, play tennis, … In July and August the tourist is treated to a Fireworks festival with competitors from all over the world, to music happenings once a week and an entirely free concert week. The place is not cheap, but also not expensive, compared to France.
Near the French border you find De Panne. This resort is renowned for its high dunes. It’s quite an adventure to wander through them. Americans who have visited Provincetown in Massachusetts, can have an idea of what De Panne is like. In de vicinity of the town you’ll find the amusement park Plopsa Land, owned by Studio 100 which makes famous tv-series as Samson, Mega Mindy and Plop. A must for children!
Between those two border towns, there are lots of other resorts. Another remarkable one is De Haan, which has kept the 19th century villa’s of the higher classes intact (resembles Newport on Rhode Island). They also have the annual Turn-of-the-Century happening on the first Saturday of August.